Canine Parvovirus

Origin and Significance of a “New” Pathogen
  • Günter Siegl
Part of the The Viruses book series (VIRS)


Until very recently individual autonomous parvoviruses were assumed to have a characteristic, rather narrow natural host range. Moreover, parvoviruses pathogenic for a certain species were found to exhibit a distinct and unique antigenicity. Up to 1978 this “law” also applied to the parvoviruses infecting dogs. The autonomous minute virus of canines (MVC) was isolated from the feces of asymptomatic dogs by Binn in 1970. It proved to be serologically unrelated to any other member of the genus Parvovirus as well as to the helper-dependent canine adeno-associated virus (cAAV) isolated by Sugimura and Yanagawa (1968) and characterized by Onuma and Yanagawa (1972a,b). Both agents apparently are widespread in canine populations; however, no direct relationship between infection and a distinct syndrome could be conclusively established. Therefore, considerable interest was aroused when, starting in the spring of 1978, the appearance of a large number of articles, both in the lay press and in scientific journals, signaled the rapid spread of a parvovirus in dogs almost simultaneously in widely separated geographical regions. Infection was manifested either as a fulminant enteritis of high morbidity and mortality in dogs of all ages or as a subacute myocarditis in puppies three to eight weeks of age. The causative virus, rapidly known by concerned dog owners as “Killer Virus,” “The Parvovirus,” or merely “The Virus” generally is referred to in scientific articles as canine parvovirus (CPV) or, to distinguish between MVC and CPV, as CPV-2 (Carman and Povey, 1980). It has several quite unusual features. The most outstanding is the fact that this virus not only causes a panleukopenia—enteritis syndrome in dogs similar to that known to occur in felines and mink (Siegl, 1976), but has also proved to be serologically and genetically closely related to the feline parvovirus (FPV). In consequence, “CPV” is now considered to be a host range variant of the latter virus rather than a true canine virus. Throughout this review, however, it will be referred to as canine parvovirus (CPV).


Canine Cell Attenuate Vaccine Strain Mink Enteritis Virus Feline Panleukopenia Virus Ranch Mink 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Günter Siegl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Hygiene and Medical MicrobiologyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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